Thursday, September 15, 2016

An absurd week in America’s two-tier election   

Politics

Scott Gilmore, writing for Macleans:

Every day, Trump says something or is revealed to have done something that would have disqualified every other candidate for president over the last 40 years. Howard Dean’s political career ended after he yelled too loudly at a campaign rally. All Michael Dukakis had to do was pose for a picture in a tank and his campaign was over.

By contrast, Trump is exposed as a liar, a fraud or a bigot on an hourly basis. He is shown repeatedly to be ignorant of the most basic elements of the U.S. Constitution or international affairs. You could describe his entire campaign as a train wreck, if a train was able to crash day after day non-stop. But still, the pundits roll their eyes—“That’s just Trump being Trump”—and turn to Clinton’s cough.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Delete2Archive for OS X 10.11.4

Apple

Last week Apple released OS X 10.11.4, the fourth update to El Capitan.

As was done for prior versions of the operating system, I’ve released a new version of Delete2Archive that is compatible with the latest update. Follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Delete2Archive for OS X 10.11.2

Apple

Late last year, Apple released OS X 10.11.2, the second update to El Capitan.

As was done for prior versions of the operating system, I’ve released a new version of Delete2Archive that is compatible with the latest update. Follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Delete2Archive for OS X 10.11.1

Apple

Earlier this week Apple released OS X 10.11.1, the first update to El Capitan.

As was done for prior versions of the operating system, I’ve released a new version of Delete2Archive that is compatible with the latest update. Follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Delete2Archive for OS X 10.11 El Capitan

Apple

Last week, Apple released OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Due to a widespread networking issue between my ISP and Apple, it took several days for me download and install the latest operating system, which resulted in a delay in updating the compatibility of Delete2Archive.

Before providing instructions on how to update Delete2Archive, I should mention that after limited testing my Gmail accounts continue to work properly in Mail without the need of the plugin (as they have since OS X 10.9.2). If you’re still using Delete2Archive, I strongly suggest you test your system to see if you can get your Gmail accounts archiving natively. Specifically, you can try unchecking the “Move deleted messages to the Trash mailbox” option under Preferences > Accounts > Mailbox Behaviours.

For those that still legitimately need the plugin, it has been updated for compatibility with OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dog’s Best Day   

Video

From the BarkPost YouTube channel:

As members of Texas Task Force 1, Bretagne and her mom/handler Denise Corliss had an intense first deployment. They joined nearly 100 other search and rescue dogs to find and save people trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center after 9/11. They’ve had an unshakable bond ever since.

After hearing Bretagne’s story and learning that her 16th birthday was coming up, there was no question in our minds that she deserved a Dog’s Best Day for the ages.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem Solving   

Science

David Leonhardt, writing for The New York Times:

We’ve chosen a rule that some sequences of three numbers obey — and some do not. Your job is to guess what the rule is.

A great little logic puzzle.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Visualizing the Yield Curve   

Finance

Gregor Aisch And Amanda Cox, writing for The New York Times back in March:

The yield curve shows how much it costs the federal government to borrow money for a given amount of time, revealing the relationship between long- and short-term interest rates.

It is, inherently, a forecast for what the economy holds in the future — how much inflation there will be, for example, and how healthy growth will be over the years ahead — all embodied in the price of money today, tomorrow and many years from now.

This is a really fascinating way to visualize interest rates – one which I don’t recall seeing before despite spending the majority of my time at work dealing with this stuff. It would be even more interesting if the data went back another decade – when interest rates were at record highs – to really put today’s low rates in perspective.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Get our ‘Music Monday’ playlist on Apple Music

AppleMusic

If you’re using Apple Music, you can add our ‘Music Monday’ playlist to your library for free. The ‘Music Monday’ playlist contains all of the songs we’ve previously featured on Things of Interest and new songs will automatically show up in your playlist over time.

To add the Things of Interest ‘Music Monday’ playlist to your device, simply visit thn.gy/music.

Once the playlist opens in the Music app (on iOS) or iTunes (on Mac), click the ‘+’ symbol to permanently save it to your library. If you have any issues or questions, leave us a comment below.

Music Monday Playlist

First Look: Apple Music   

AppleMusicRadio

Jim Dalrymple, writing for The Loop:

Music is an important part of my life. I care about every aspect of music, from creating to mixing, playing to listening, and seeing bands live. I feel music in my soul. Music has the ability to make me sad, angry, happy and every emotion in between.

I sat down yesterday with Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, and Beats Founder Jimmy Iovine to talk about Apple Music. I also started using the new service myself, so I wanted to give you my thoughts on what I found so far, good and bad.

Jim provides a thoughtful and thorough overview of Apple Music. Having used the new service for the past two days, I really like it. I had some strange issues signing up1, but overall the service is great once you have it up and running.

My two favourite features thus far are:

  • the way Apple Music seamlessly merges my existing iTunes library of 10,000+ songs with the Apple Music catalogue, giving me quick access to the stuff I like most while providing unlimited access to 30 million other songs
  • playlists from third-party curators such as Shazam and Rolling Stone found under the ‘New’ section

Apple advertised early iPods with the tagline “1,000 songs in your pocket” and I think of the new Apple Music service as “every song in your pocket.”2 It is mind-blowing the first time you realize that you don’t have to carefully select which songs or albums to purchase because they are all included. I realize other streaming services have provided this ability for some time, but there’s something different about Apple Music – I used Spotify’s free tier for several months but disliked the user interface and never fully understood how to discover new music. Having tried Apple Music, I’m confident that I can delete the Spotify app without any regrets.

If there’s a common criticism of Apple Music, it relates to complexity. The service consists of several ambiguously named sections such as ‘For You’, ‘New’, and ‘Connect’. What lies beneath these simple titles is essentially several different streaming services wrapped into one:

  • For You: provides customized playlists and album recommendations based on your musical tastes, constantly updated as Apple Music learns from your listening habits and the songs you mark with the “Love” symbol throughout Apple Music. Think of this as a replacement for Beats Music.
  • New: a combination of new releases, top charts, and editorialized playlists from Apple and select third-parties. Think of this as a replacement for Spotify.
  • Radio: a combination of genre-based radio stations featuring hand-picked songs from Apple, a traditional live radio station called Beats 1 produced by humans, and algorithm-based radio stations that you create based on a particular song, album, artist, or genre that you can then further customize to your preferences by telling Apple Music to “Play More Like This” or “Play Less Like This”. Think of this of this as a replacement for Pandora and traditional radio.
  • Connect: a social network that artists can use to post content for the fans that follow them.
  • My Music: a ‘treasure chest’ containing your original iTunes library and items from the Apple Music catalogue (including playlists) that you opt to “Add to My Music”. Think of this as a replacement for the original iTunes combined with a bookmarking utility.

So yes, Apple Music is complex, but with that complexity comes a lot of flexibility and powerful features. You can go from selecting every single song you want to hear by playing content from ‘My Music’, to selecting a genre and letting Apple’s editors pick the songs using the curated playlists in the ‘New’ section, to giving up all control by letting the producers and DJs of Beats 1 select everything you hear. That you get all of this for $9.99 a month ($14.99 for a family) is pretty impressive.


  1. I signed up members of my family for Apple Music using the iPhone app. Between selecting the Apple Music Family plan, accepting new iTunes Terms & Conditions, validating credit card security codes, and entering Apple IDs, I would estimate that the sign-up process took between 5 and 15 steps for each family member. Sign-up for the Family Sharing organizer account was relatively straight forward, but adding additional family members required several steps that I’m sure were bugs. Ultimately, each additional family member would get to a sign-up screen with all buttons greyed out and the only option was to force-quit the Music app. Luckily, upon restarting the app, the registration process was complete and the family members were able to start using Apple Music. 
  2. Apple Music doesn’t include ‘every song’ but there sure are a lot! While some big names (like The Beatles and Prince) are noticeably absent on day one, Apple Music has some exclusive content not available on other streaming services. Hopefully the catalogue improves over time, and even if it doesn’t, it is still quite comprehensive.